Meet Facility, Your Recruitment and Retention Specialist

This article appeared in the Jul/Aug 2023 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever for companies to find ways to attract and retain top talent. One way to do this is to create a workplace that is safe, comfortable and efficient. A well-designed building can be a powerful recruitment and retention tool, helping to enhance safety, increase job satisfaction and streamline workflow.

Recently, Seal Bond, Inc., in Norton Shores, consolidated three operational buildings to construct one new 100,000 sq. ft. campus. In addition to streamlining production and distribution, the new building enhanced safety for their team. New technology offered H3/H4 containment operations for product as well as spill containment, fire protection and hazardous materials protection. Instead of retrofitting existing facilities, the new building lived a value for Seal Bond: employee safety culture.

“This change is an active response to the value our employees bring to our company. They deserve the highest safety environment and constructing this new environment was proof of our commitment,” said Alex Carmichael, Vice President of Operations at Seal Bond. Carmichael added that when they were planning their new building, they were able to protect more than their people in the building.

In addition to safety, job satisfaction is an important factor in employee retention. Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to stay with a company for the long term. By providing comfortable and modern workspaces, companies can make their employees feel more at home at work. By offering amenities like on-site fitness centers, new breakrooms, and childcare facilities, companies make their employees’ lives more balanced.

When approaching the design build project at Display Pack headquarters in Cedar Springs, an extended discovery session was implemented to understand the company’s goals. Beyond increasing natural light, the construction team collaborated with Display Pack to transform the manufacturing environment. This increased job satisfaction through placement of amenities, such as placing the women’s restroom on the same floor as the female employees and consolidating the six- floor manufacturing process into one floor.

The DeWys Metal Solutions facility in Marne expanded its facilities to provide an upgraded space for team members to relax and recharge during their breaks. Complete with branded colors and larger restrooms, the new DeWys De-Café increases retention and enhances employee experience. Studies show that refocusing company energy into employee experience can maximize productivity, as well.

“We knew that changing the building would give voice to the value we found in our team,” offered Kacey Regan, Human Resources Manager at DeWys. “Offering a new space with more room to refresh gives the employees real clarity when returning to work. If they can truly breathe during their break, or find a quick healthy bite, rather than having to rush off campus, it helps productivity and focus when they’re back at work. That’s priceless.”

As important as these renovations are, minimizing the effect of construction to minimize stress on the work environment is also important. In today’s advanced manufacturing environment, companies are able to flex staffing while continuing to meet current demand. A new building makes this possible by providing features that improve efficiency and productivity.

When Acme Marine developed their new facility in Walker, they anticipated the majority of their workforce returning after COVID-19 restrictions lifted. Instead, many chose to retire. As construction of the 60,000 sq. ft. build-out progressed, they collaborated with their design-build team to optimize machine placement and reconfigure their floor, allowing fewer personnel to run multiple stations.

By enhancing safety, increasing job satisfaction and running a manufacturing floor with fewer people, a well- designed building can be a powerful recruitment and retention tool. Companies that invest in their buildings are more likely to attract and retain top talent, which can lead to increased productivity and profitability. 6

About the Author

Stacey WoodsStacey Woods, Wolverine Building Group’s Director of Client & Industry Services, knows a thing or two about retaining a talented team. She may be reached at 616-281-6230 or

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